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Students react to Ascend’s IMPACT networking event | The Triangle

Students react to Ascend’s IMPACT networking event

Photo by Ty Wong | The Triangle

The Drexel Ascend Chapter hosted the IMPACT (Inspire Motivate Persevere Ambition Capture Transform) Symposium at the LeBow College of Business on April 27. 

Sponsored by EY, IMPACT was the first major in-person symposium organized by Ascend Greater Philadelphia since 2019. While partnering with Temple and Villanova Ascend Chapters to arrange IMPACT, the Drexel Ascend Chapter e-board bore most of the responsibility for bringing IMPACT to LeBow.

“It was a great experience; I was joining the weekly meetings that we had to plan and have this whole event come to life,” said Andy Lee, a third-year management information systems major and the Drexel Ascend chapter’s internal vice president. “The conversations were never dull in our meetings, which was really nice because we were able to work very efficiently.”

The symposium had four breakout sessions, two networking sessions and one open panel, all mainly moderated by Asian-American employees of various Greater Philadelphia Area businesses.

“My favorite guest speaker was Danny Park [of Greater Philadelphia Asian Social Services]; he talked a lot about the concept of fear and how that has affected his personal life, how his personal life affected his career, and how being able to conquer the fear and learning from your failures can help you a lot with career, and being able to recognize that you could be a leader,” said Annie Jiang, a third-year product design major.

The employees conducted Asian American inclusive professional development breakout sessions to give the attendees a deeper dive into workplace struggles, such as being a standout candidate, building your brand and more. 

“The main thing I learned was to be yourself, from Vien Cash ’07 [of AdaptHealth]; she has a really amazing personality and [taught me] there are always people who value who you are as a person, and finding those people who do will really move you up the ladder,” said Hmo Tu, a first-year finance major.

Because of these well-planned sessions and thoughtful guest speakers, new and current Ascend members feel more prepared to take on the co-op or internship searching and interviewing process after gaining a refresher in networking tactics. 

“The biggest thing I struggle with is keeping a professional relationship. [MaKayla Hancock, Ashley Jiang, and Jeane Park of Kreischer Miller] were talking about how you should always send follow-up emails even though you might be uncomfortable with it. That should be a norm for you to do, especially after an interview. Sending a thank you email within 48 hours is really important, and I think that’s one of my weakest points. I would do well in an interview, but I wouldn’t do well following up after, so just being able to show my interest through that part is really helpful,” Jiang added.

With the IMPACT Symposium brought back to life, Drexel Ascend has relaunched an improved platform to invite educated and experienced professionals to offer their members diverse perspectives on making it in the workplace and new strategies to reach new heights.

“Anytime we have events with professionals, there is always something to learn,” said Lee. “Whether it is something that is reiterated over previous events, just having their knowledge and insight when it comes to professional development [acts] as a confidence booster in general because now, I definitely feel more confident going into any future job.”

This article is part of a column dedicated to supporting underrepresented Asian student organizations on Drexel University’s campus.